Too tall our structures, and too swift our pace;
Not so we mount, not so we gain the race.
Too loud the voice of commerce in the land;
Not so truth speaks, not so we understand.
Too vast our conquests, and too large our gains;
Not so comes peace, not so the soul attains.
But the need of the world is a faith that will live anywhere;
In the still dark depths of the woods, or out in the sun’s full glare.
A faith that can hear God’s voice, alike in the quiet glen,
Or in the roar of the street, and over the noises of men.
And the need of the world is a creed that is founded on joy;
A creed with the turrets of hope and trust, no winds can destroy;
A creed where the soul finds rest, whatever this life bestows,
And dwells undoubting and unafraid, because it knows, it knows.
And the need of the world is love that burns in the heart like flame;
A love for the Giver of Life, in sorrow or joy the same;
A love that blazes a trail to Go through the dark and the cold,
Or keeps the pathway that leads to Him clean, through glory and gold.
For the faith that can only thrive or grow in the solitude,
And droops and dies in the marts of men, where sights and sounds are rude;
That is not a faith at all, but a dream of a mystic’s heart;
Our faith should point as the compass points, whatever be the chart.
Our faith must find its centre of peace in a babel of noise;
In the changing ways of the world of men it must keep its poise;
And over the sorrowing sounds of earth it must hear God’s call;
And the faith that cannot do all this, that is not faith at all.
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox